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'The inbox from hell': British journalist lays out challenges for new UK PM
11:26 - Source: CNN
London CNN  — 

Liz Truss has taken over from Boris Johnson as prime minister of the UK, with an inbox that may leave her wondering why she wanted the job in the first place.

From the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation to public services simply not working, Truss will have to plug major holes with a sluggish economy and a promise to introduce no new taxes.

And she will have to do it while leading a Conservative Party that is bitterly divided and far from guaranteed to support her vision for the country.

Cost of living

Inflation rose above 10% in July for the first time in 40 years. It was driven by the rising cost of energy and food. Average household energy bills have risen 54% already this year and are forecast to go even higher.

This is bad news not just for households but also businesses that the government had to bail out during the pandemic, many of which will simply not be able to pay the bills and will be forced to close without support.

A poor economy

Compounding Truss’ woes is the fact that the UK is on track for a recession by the end of the year, according to the Bank of England. GDP dropped by 0.1% in the second quarter of this year and analysts believe the third quarter will put the country into a technical recession.

And on Monday, in a signal of the serious challenges ahead, the British pound dropped 0.3% to its lowest level against the US dollar since 1985, before recovering slightly.

Public services falling apart

Lots of things in the UK simply seem to be failing at the moment. Waiting times to receive health care are at their longest in recent history. This is in part because of the pandemic putting the National Health Service under greater strain, but it is also because of staff shortages and insufficient funding, the British Medical Association says.

There are similar staffing and funding problems in social care, schools, universities and local government.

Strikes

Thoughout this year, transportation workers, journalists, lawyers, refuse workers and postal workers have gone on strike. In many of the cases, union bosses have blamed the government for failing to meet their demands and break the deadloc